Gas prices are two cents lower in Western Pennsylvania this week at $3.927 per gallon, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.  In New Castle the average price is 3.83 a gallon and in Sharon motorists are paying 3.89.  As demand moderates and fewer drivers are visiting the pump, the national average for a gallon of gas fell three cents since last week to reach $3.81. Today’s national average is the same as a month ago and two cents higher than a year ago.

Some state lawmakers say over a billion dollars is needed to fully address the backlog of work that needs to be done at Pennsylvania’s parks and forests.  But the state has only set aside 112-million in this year’s budget.  DCNR spokesperson Wesley Robinson tells Spotlight-PA-dot-org that rising costs for maintenance have contributed to the need for extra funds.  Pennsylvania has 124 state parks and 20 forests that continually need repair each year. 

State election officials urge you to register now in order to vote November’s elections.  To be eligible, you must be a U.S. citizen for at least 30 days before the election and have lived in your Pennsylvania district for at least 30 days as well.  You also need to be at least 18 years old on election day.  A new state policy is also now in place that automatically registers residents to vote at all PennDOT driver and photo license centers.

Movement could come this week on a bill in the state House that would offer compensation to those wrongfully convicted of crimes. The House Judiciary Committee has scheduled a vote on House Bill 1470. It would provide 100-thousand-dollars a year for those wrongfully imprisoned on Death Row. The legislation also would provide 75-thousand-dollars for others wrongfully imprisoned and 50-thousand a year for every year an exoneree spent on probation or parole for a crime he she didn’t commit. The National Registry of Exonerations has identified over 120 cases of people being wrongfully convicted in Pennsylvania, including five federal cases. 

State Police in Butler County report a two vehicle accident in Fairview Township.  According to police, 84 year old Robert McNally of Chicora, pulled from his yard onto route 268 when his vehicle was struck by a vehicle operated by 65 year old Carolyn Ganter also of Chicora. McNally was taken to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital for treatment. Ganter was injured but was not taken to the hospital.

A House panel is set to take up a bill to move the Pennsylvania primary to take place earlier in 2024. The House State Government Committee has scheduled a meeting for Tuesday to consider move the spring primary to March from its current April 23rd date. Lawmakers and Governor Josh Shapiro have called for changing the date to avoid holding the election during the Jewish holiday of Passover and to give Pennsylvania voters a greater role in determining nominees for president. 

– Administrators say there will be extra security at Hempfield Area High School. This comes after yesterday’s incident which involved three students exchanging firearms.  State police say the 15-year-old suspects allegedly exchanged the firearms on a school bus and campus.  Authorities say there is no evidence that any sort of attack was planned but expressed appreciation for the students who reported seeing the weapons exchanged.  Police say there will be charges filed against the students.

A Butler man was flown to the hospital following a motorcycle accident in Jefferson Township.  According to State Police, 54 year old Eric Weber lost control of his motorcycle and struck a rock embankment.  Police said Weber suffered a serious leg injury and was flown to Allegheny General Hospital for treatment.

Pennsylvania’s junior U.S. Senator is joining with another former city mayor to suggest ways to successfully fight fentanyl. Democrat John Fetterman and Cory Booker, a U.S. senator from New Jersey, offer an opinion piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer. They say that solutions lie in treatment and recovery and disrupting the supply chain. The two lawmakers introduced Senate legislation last month that cracks down on drug traffickers and sanctions criminal drug organizations. Those would include suppliers in China and cartels in Mexico that are manufacturing the drugs. 

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